Tavern on the Green

Re-Opening of Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green

Tavern On The Green   67TH STREET & CENTRAL PARK WEST, NYC 

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After two years of renovations and $38 million the NY icon Tavern On The Green has now re-opened in Central Park.
Last month, I came here for a business meeting with Jenny (MeltingButter) and my teammate, Kenta (Lord of the Fork). I took a cab from Bowery and OMG! A $30 cab ride! This is why I don’t eat up here that often, but I was amazed as soon as I walked in the building. They did such a great job!! The place is so gorgeous!! You walk through the bar to the dining room which is an open kitchen. The whole room is surrounded by sunny glass windows. Once I got past the beautiful surroundings, the downside was that I couldn’t find anything I really wanted to order…
After our order came to the table, I immediately thought there was not enough food for us. Jenny had a salad and tuna tartar. I ordered Japanese eggplant and tuna tartar. Her salad was so sad looking. It almost looked like a bowl of different grasses. I’m not kidding. After I saw Kenta’s burger I thought I should have ordered a sandwich. I then ordered a turkey sandwich for us  girls to share. This $17 sandwich was nothing special. Plus, the sandwich came with potato chips that I already had as a side with my tuna tartar. I was starting to think that this lunch was a disaster!!! Hopefully they have a better dinner menu.
I don’t post places that I rate under 3 of 5 hearts which means this place still made the cut! It is a very  beautiful space and I still recommend you visit this NY regent place. Maybe for a daytime drink and enjoy the elegant atmosphere in the afternoon.
Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥ ♥♥ $$$1/2

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Khe-Yo

laotian restaurant in Tribeca

Khe-yo

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Khe-Yo – 157 Duane St, (b/t Broadway & Hudson St) NYC 

I became very curious about Khe-Yo after I saw many food bloggers posting pictures. I came here with six friends on aSaturday night. I was able to make a last minute reservation through OpenTable. The place was very busy when we get there around 8pm. After we all sat down we were ready to order drinks right away! Yay! I love Saturday! *\(^_^)/*  I noticed the wine menu was surprisingly reasonable for this kind of restaurant in Tribeca. My girl, Nam, got there first and she already knew what she wanted to order. So, we let her order for the table. This was my first time eating Laotian cuisine and I was ready for a new experience. Well, well… Let me start with the highlight of our dinner. My favorite dishes were the Creekstone Farms Steak Tartare salad and the Banana Wrapped Red Snapper entree. They were good. I thought the Wok-Fried Glass Noodle entree was OK, too. However, the Grilled Laos Style Sausage was very disappointing. Overall, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t care for anything I ate during this visit. I’m not planning to go back to Khe-Yo anytime soon, but Laotian cuisine is unusual even in a city like NY which normally has every kind of cuisine. Maybe you should check it out at least once and try some other dishes that I didn’t order. Also, here is my friend’s blog posts on the Tabelog site. You can see the different dishes’ photos and their reviews. Please let me know your favorite dish if you do decide to go there!
Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥1/2 $$$$

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Khe-yo

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Hinata Ramen

Chicken Broth Ramen

Hinata Ramen 159 E.55th St. b/t 3rd & Lexington Ave | 212-355-2974

I read on Twitter that Chef Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern visited Hinata Ramen a few months ago. I hadn’t heard of this ramen shop until then. So, I decided to come here for lunch. Hinata Ramen opened last November in Midtown East. I often eat ramen for lunch. There are many choices of ramen shops around my office in Midtown such as Hide-chan, Totto, Ippudo West, and a few more places. Today I found a new edition to add to my ramen lunch options. Chef Anthony mentioned this place’s noodle and that it was somehow related to Ippudo. So I was even more curious about this place!! I was also interested in tasting their broth. Most popular ramen shops often serve pork based broth, but Hinata specializes in chicken broth ramen.

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥1/2 ♥♥♥
♥♥1/2 $$  
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Original Hinata Paitan Ramen – Chicken broth $12.5 ♥♥♥1/2

I started my lunch with gyoza and pork bum to share. I didn’t much care for either appetizer, but it was good and decent enough. I sat at the front counter seat so that I could see the action in the kitchen behind the glass window. (It does not have an open kitchen.) I ordered the Original Hinata Paitan Ramen and my friend ordered the Aburi Niku Miso Ramen which is limited to 10 bowls per day. Both ramen were very good.

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Aburi Niku Miso Ramen – (Limited 10 bowls per day) ♥♥♥1/2

My favorite is Shoyu Tonkostuu (soy based and pork based mixed.) Compared to pork based this was much lighter and cleaner. Definitely refreshing.

It was also great to meet the owner, Chef Madoka Tamura. I was a little shocked to see a young Japanese lady. I guess I always imagine a ramen shop owner to be a man. Like I said, Hinata’s ramen is very clean and elegant. This made perfect sense once I met her. She was lovely. I asked her about her background. She said this is her first restaurant and she taught herself how to make ramen. I’m the owner of Cutie Room, but having a boutique and running a restaurant are two different things. I was very impressed. I love seeing Japanese women doing their thing in NYC!

Owner/ chef Madoka Tamura

I eat at most ramen shops more than twice before giving a rating. So, at this time I can’t give a proper rating yet. I am definitely going back for lunch again soon. Stay tuned for an update!

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Hinata Pork Bun ♥♥♥

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Kurobuta Gyoza ♥♥♥

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Sushi Nakazawa

            Believe The Hype!!  The Best Sushi Patrolling Ever

Sushi Nakazawa
Sushi Nakazawa 23 Commerce Street, NYC   (212)-924-2212 DSC02342 I finally made it to Sushi Nakazawa!! This patrolling was definitely the most exciting patrolling ever. Especially since it’s still hard to get a reservation at Sushi Nakazawa. Actually, it’s the most exciting patrolling ever since I started my Cutie Patroller blog!!!  You can believe the hype about Nakawaza. I am not over exaggerating. Sometimes you get disappointed when you have high expectations, but my experience at Nakazawa was so much more than I expected. Super friendly Chef Daisuke Nakazawa explained each nigiri to us in English and Japanese. Chef Nakazawa kindly answered any questions I had with smile. Also, how cute is it that he uses a mini iPad to show pictures of fish and explain each nigiri to the counter guests? This is definitely a new way of “OMOTENASHI” (the heart of Japanese hospitality) and I’m loving it!! We had 20 pieces of sushi Omakase. Plus one extra in the end. All of the sushi pieces were incredible. Traditional, yet each piece had a cute twist. When I had salmon it was full of wara-smoke flavor. The red snapper had Kinkan zest. One of my favorite nigiri was Akagai. Since I’m mini clam which Mirugai, Agarai, Aoyagi, and Awabi are my absolute favorite sushi so when the chef told me he had Akagai I was so excited!! It was the best Akagai I ever had between NY and Japan.

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Akagai ( Red calm ) 赤貝Akagai ( Red calm ) 赤貝 We didn’t mention to the chef that we were from Tabelog until after dinner and he said he always uses Tabelog when he is in Japan. We exchanged business cards, of course. I’m so excited to send him my blog post and my many thanks, too.

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥1/2 $$$$

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Uni from Santa Barbara サンタバーバラの雲丹

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Bonito ハガツオ

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Hon-Maguro (tuna) 本マグロ

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Zuke Maguro (marinated tuna) 漬けマグロ

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Otoro (fatty tuna) 大トロ

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Hirawasa (yellowtail amberjack) 尾鷲産 ひらわさ

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Sushi Nakazawa